New Haven’s grand list of taxable property grew by 1.5 percent last year, according to city figures released this week.
The latest list of all taxable property, which the city revises each Feb. 1 to get ready for the city budgeting process, represents a $90 million increase over the previous year, Mayor John DeStefano announced in his annual State of the City speech Monday at City Hall.
The new figures put the 2012 grand list at $6,084,699,298. That’s the “net” grand list, after tax-exempt properties are subtracted out. At the current tax rate, 38.88 mills, the grand list would generate an extra $3.3 million in revenue for the city, DeStefano calculated.
DeStefano made that announcement with an asterisk: “A meaningful part” of the projected growth comes from the second year of a phased-in property value for the downtown apartment tower 360 State Street, which is fighting its assessment in court.
“We are in negotiations with the pension fund that owns the property. It is my hope we can settle this dispute in a fashion that is fair to all,” DeStefano said.
“More on that later this month,” he added obliquely.
DeStefano said the top 10 taxpayers in the city, all businesses, “are growing disproportionately to the rest of the grand list,” which “eases the burden on residential and small business owners.” Personal property, taxable equipment owned by businesses, “is showing tremendous growth,” he reported, with a 75 percent increase since 1994 and a 48 percent increase in the past five years.
In his State of the City Speech, DeStefano slightly overstated the grand list’s growth. He said it grew by 1.8 percent. The true figure was 1.5 percent, the mayor’s office confirmed Tuesday in response to a query from the Independent.
As he prepares his final city budget before leaving office at the end of this year, DeStefano said he is bracing for cuts in state funding, which comprises a whopping 43 percent of the city budget. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is set to unveil a proposed budget Wednesday. Malloy announced Tuesday he will increase, not reduce, one major source of state funding to cities, the Education Cost Sharing grant; now municipal leaders like DeStefano will be listening Wednesday to hear about the rest of the picture.
DeStefano said he plans to make a budget address of his own the week of Feb. 25, before releasing his budget proposal.